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Full text of "Commonwealth Futures : comprehensive community-wide service plan ; summary"

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COMMONWEALTH FUTURES 

COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY-WIDE SERVICE PLAN 

- SUMMARY - DEC 2 

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I . BACKGROUND 

Boston, according to its Redevelopment Authority, is one of this nation's five 
poorest cities. With a population of just over 600,000 (38% minority), it is 
a city of small towns, racial divisiveness, a troubled public education 
system, and a large population of welfare recipients and public housing 
residents. Primary industries include banking, insurance, real estate, 
education, health services, and government. Yet despite a healthy economy, 
the problems of poverty persist — a minority youth unemployment rate 
approaching 40% (compared with 2.7% for the city as a whole); 33,000 residents 
on welfare; 21.6% of families with annual incomes below $7,500. 

The Boston Public Schools have increasingly become the system for families 
without options. The enrollment is currently 69% minority (11% Hispanic, 48% 
Black, 9% Asian); 75% of students are economically disadvantaged. Although 
attendance, job placement, and college enrollment have been increasing 
steadily since 1983 as a result of the Boston Compact , test scores declined In 
1986 for the first time in four years and the high school dropout rate remains 
at 43%. In fact, in 1985 more students dropped out in Boston (3,401) than 
graduated (2,978). 

II. VISION 

For Boston, the vision is simple — that every child in the city enrolls in 
education, stays in school, graduates, and goes on to further education, a 
job, or both. While there has been a lot of progress in community 
collaboration in Boston, there is still a long way to go to achieve genuine, 
long-term consensus on the best ways to afford every child the opportunity 
which will fulfill the vision. It is increasingly clear in Boston that there 
needs to be a higher degree of cooperation from all community constituencies 
in order to address the issue of at-risk youth. 

III. TARGET POPULATION(S) 

o At-risk middle school students. 

o At-risk high school students. 

o Out of school youth between 13 and 21. 

Specific entry criteria keyed to each program component's service capacity 
will be developed by the Futures Committee. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/commonwealthfutOOcomm 



IV. GOALS 

A. Community 

1) Establish Commonwealth Futures Committee as lead advisory/ 
approval group on at-risk issues in the city (i.e. Chapter 188 
and 8% grants). 

2) Expand collaboration with CBO's, formally linking schools and 
agencies for the provision of day care, family support, 
recreation, and health care services. 

3) Develop accreditation procedures for alternative education 
providers utilizing BPS credentials. 

B. Youth 

1) Reduce dropout rate by 50% in five years (from 3,000 to 1,500). 

2) Double the BPS re-entry rate in five years (from 500 to 1,000). 

3) Expand CBO alternative slots (from 500 to 800). 

4) Expand successful in-school alternatives to additional sites. 

V. RESOURCES COMMITTED /ANTICIPATED 

o Willingness by all parties to integrate Futures with ongoing 
Compact efforts, with Futures becoming the vehicle by which 
the Compact* s dropout reduction goal is addressed. 

o $2 million in School Department funds jointly managed with the 
Mayor's Office. 

o $500,000 in Chapter 188 and JTPA 8% funds. 

o $1 million in local business and national foundation support. 

o $1 million in JTPA Title IIA funds. 

o $25,000 in Ch. 188 funds from Futures to support ongoing 
planning . 

VI. RESOURCES NEEDED 

o $1 million to support the development of middle school 

remediation efforts, an evening high school and vocational 
program parent outreach, and intensive CBO-based support 
services (i.e., day care, counseling, etc.) 

o $1 million to expand existing in-school models (i.e., Project 
Promise and Compact Ventures). 

o Ongoing support from all collaborators for the complete system 
of integrated services. 



COMMONWEALTH FUTURES 



CITY OF BROCKTON 



COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY -WIDE SERVICE PLAN 

- SUMMARY - 



I . BACKGROUND 

Brockton, a city of 95,000 people, lies 20 miles south of Boston and is 
probably best known as the home of Marvin Hagler. While it has a fairly 
diverse economic base, lower paying service industries currently predominate. 
Since 1970, the city's white population total has remained steady, while the 
Black population has increased by 128% and the Hispanic and Asian population 
by 677%. Fully one third of Brockton's families earn less than $10,000 
annually; 32% of the city's adults are without high school diplomas; 21% of 
Brockton's residents are officially "economically disadvantaged." 

The Brockton Public Schools, which serve 15,000 students, operate one high 
school for 4,200 students from grades 9 through 12, the largest single high 
school facility in the state. Officials note that nearly 20% of BPS students 
receive AFDC and that the number of families in poverty has more than doubled 
since 1970, with the number of female-headed families in poverty nearly 
tripling. While the high school average daily attendance figure is 86%, and 
1985-86 CTBS results place Brockton students at about the 50% nationally, the 
grade 7 through 12 dropout rate is 40%, with as many as 13.5% dropping out in 
some years. 

II. VISION 

Brockton, with a lengthy history of inter-institutional collaboration, 
envisions a future where the key agents in their community — the schools, 
human service agencies, local business and government — unite behind three 
tasks that would address their at-risk youth population. First, preventing 
school failure from happening in the first place. Second, identifying and 
monitoring the critical factors in the lives of young people which, left 
unchecked, indicate potential entry into at-risk status. Third, joining 
together to intervene appropriately to support young people in trouble at the 
earliest possible age. 

III. TARGET POPULATION(S) 

o Students 12-16 who are two or more years behind grade level 

in reading and/ or math, 
o Teenage girls with a child or currently pregnant. 
o Students displaying habitual truancy, 
o Students from families in poverty 
o Students with DSS, DYS, or juvenile court involvement. 



IV. GOALS 

A. Community 

1) Establishing "Partners for Brockton Youth" Advisory Committee 
as the single coordinating body for all "at-risk" youth 
efforts (i.e., Chapter 188, 8%, etc.) 

2) Developing a strong business partnership program with student 
mentoring as its focus. 

3) "Marketing" the notion of "alternative education" to the 
community at large and the school community in particular to 
generate support for expanded off-site programs. 

B. Youth 

1) Reduce grade 9 dropout rate by 25% (Project CLIMB). 

2) Improve student attitudes toward work. 

3) Increase average daily attendance in grades 7 and 8. 

4) Multiply currently successful alternative programs to serve 
additional students (i.e., GRADS for teen parents). 

V. RESOURCES COMMITTED /ANTICIPATED 

o Personnel, computer time, administrative coordination, and 
facilities from Brockton Public Schools. 

o Part-time school year and full-time summer jobs through 
Brockton PIC. 

o Staff time and leadership from Mayor's Office to coordinate 
interagency efforts. 

o Public relations services, mentor pairings, and job 
development services from Chamber of Commerce. 

o $68,000 from Brockton Public Schools to support CLIMB & GRADS. 

o $73,000 in Chapter 188 funds to support CLIMB & GRADS. 

o $16,000 in DYS funds for CLIMB staff administered by YMCA. 

o $34,000 in JTPA 8% funds and $73,000 in SYETP funds to 
support CLIMB. 

o $94,000 in Chapter 188 and JTPA 8% funds to initiate Futures 
activities through June of 1987. 



VI. RESOURCES NEEDED 

o Continued and expanded support from collaborating partners as 
outlined above. 

o $210,000 to implement fully operational junior high school 
program, including outreach/ tracking. 

o $218,000 to implement fully operational ninth grade program, 
including outreach/ tracking. 

o t 50,000 to develop business partnership program. 



COMMONWEALTH FUTURES 



CITY OF CHELSEA 



COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY-WIDE SERVICE PLAN 

- SUMMARY - 



I . BACKGROUND 

Chelsea, a "big little city" of 25,000 people in 1.8 square miles, is located 
three minutes north of downtown Boston and is the poorest community in the 
state of Massachusetts: close to 40% of the population are economically 
disadvantaged. Chelsea has one of the nations highest proportion of residents 
in public housing, and its unemployment rate is double the state average. 
It's economic base, in contrast to the state, has not experienced any 
significant growth or shift to provide favorable employment opportunities for 
residents. In 1984, three of Chelsea's largest employers (American Biltrite, 
Cabot Prints, and Sweetheart Paper) closed their plants, leaving 500 workers 
unemployed. Although recently there has been considerable housing and 
commercial development in the city, the types of jobs created are in the 
wholesale and retail trade industries — these are unskilled, low paying jobs. 

The school system, which serves 3,500 students (54% minority), is experiencing 
a steady growth at the elementary level, where only 16% of students score at 
or above national norms. While average attendance is reported to be 85%, over 
15% of the high school population dropped out during the 84-85 school year — 
in fact, only half of Chelsea's adult population have high school diplomas and 
30% of Hispanic adults are totally illiterate. 

II. VISION 

Chelsea will establish a broad-based community team which will develop and 
implement a city-wide plan for at-risk youth. Key to the plan is: 

1. The establishment of a clearinghouse - an information, 
counseling, and referral service network for youth; 

2. A middle school dropout prevention program; and 

3. An occupational skills and alternative education program for 
high school students. 

III. TARGET POPULATION(S) 

Youth, grades 7-12, who meet one or more of the following criteria will 
be identified for services. 

In-School 

o have been retained one or more years; 



o have failed one or more subjects during a recent marking 
period; 

o have been suspended one or more times; 

o are two or more grade levels below peers; 

o are pregnant and/or parenting 

Out-of-School 

o have not obtained a GED 

o are not enrolled in an educational or educational training 
institution; and 

o are employed in entry level positions with little or no chance 
for advancement. 



IV. GOALS 



A. Community 



1) establish an on-going, empowered "Chelsea Futures Board" to 
oversee all at-risk youth efforts. 

2) increase coordination among existing services. 

3) develop a central clearinghouse for the collection and 
dissemination of youth and resource data. 

A) plan and implement new programs for youth. 

5) reduce 1985-86 dropout rate by 10% in first six months and 15% 
during the following year. 



B. Youth 



1) develop individualized service plans for 100 youth during the 
first six months and 200 additional youth the following twelve 
months. 

2) enroll 100% of 8th through 10th grade students in a life skills 
awareness course in 1987-88 school year. 

3) within first six months, increase by 10% high school graduate 
placement rates (college or training programs). Increase 
placement rates by an additional 15% in following year. 

4) develop individualized service plans for 25% of 1985-86 dropouts 
during first six months and a minimum of 50% of those dropouts 
during the following 12 months. 



V. RESOURCES COMMITTED/ANTICIPATED 

o Business community - guest speakers, summer jobs, in-kind 
contributions. 

o School system - information/research, staff, outreach and 
recruitment, curriculum development. 

o City government - assistance with public awareness, political 
support for community- wide events. 

o Community agencies - space, furniture, supplies. 

o $10,000 in Chapter 188 funds from public schools. 

o $94,000 in Chapter 188 and JTPA 8% funds through Futures for 
initial implementation. 

VI. RESOURCES NEEDED 

o Ongoing support from all community collaborators. 

o $244,000 to support program efforts during 1987-1988. 



COMMONWEALTH FUTURES 



CITY OF FALL RIVER 



COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY-WIDE SERVICE PLAN 

- SUMMARY - 



I . BACKGROUND 

Fall River is a city of nearly 93,000 people located in the southeastern part 
of Massachusetts. The city, at one time a center of the textile and apparel 
industry, has experienced two major shocks in this century. First, the city 
was declared totally insolvent in the 1920* s. Second, beginning in the 
mid-60* s and continuing today, is the outmigration of jobs in the textile 
industry — in 1985 alone four major employers closed their shops. Today, job 
growth is being experienced in such fields as retail sales, insurance, food 
services, and health services. Youth unemployment stands at 20%, and 65% of 
the adult population has less than an 8th grade education. 

The Fall River schools, which serve 12,000 students, have a yearly dropout 
rate of 7.1%, with the 9th grade experiencing the highest percentage. School 
officials estimate that 1,800 youth are currently "at-risk" of school failure, 
and that half of all current ninth graders may never graduate. 

II. VISION 

Fall River took the lead in 1983 when a special Mayoral - appointed Dropout 
Prevention Committee was formed to initiate and coordinate all community 
activities. With many program efforts begun and key actors in place, Fall 
River community leaders envision expanding, strengthening, and deepening the 
networks of services currently in place through joint government/ school/ 
business/community action. 

III. TARGET POPULATION(S) 

In the spring of 1985 over 700 teachers in grades K-12 were surveyed regarding 
youth "at-risk." As a result, 275 middle school students aged 11-16 were 
individually identified as being at-risk. At the high school level, 350 ninth 
grade students aged 14-16 and 250 students aged 15-19 in grades 10-12 were 
individually identified as being unlikely to graduate. Factors considered in 
identifying this group of youth included attendance, achievement, grade 
retention data, and age/grade correlations. 

IV. GOALS 

A. Community 

1) Identify all in-school support services available to at-risk 
youth. 

2) Identify all unmet primary needs of at-risk youth. 



3) Identify all support services available from non-school 
collaborators. 

4) Sign formal memorandum of agreement between all major parties 
to Fall River Futures effort. 

B. Youth 

1) Improve daily school attendance of 50% of Fall River Futures 
students. 

2) Improve classroom achievement of 50% of participants. 

3) Seventy-five percent of at-risk youth will be promoted. 

V. RESOURCES COMMITTED/ANTICIPATED 

o Willingness to establish Futures effort as central 

coordinating point for all Fall River at-risk youth projects. 

o Job training and development services from Chamber of 
Commerce and Portuguese Business Association. 

o Business partnership efforts which generate $20,000 in cash 
donations yearly. 

o $100,000 in JTPA funds to operate programs administered by 
SER/Jobs for Progress and Jobs for Bay State Graduates. 

o $33,000 from private business interests. 

o 55 part-time unsubsidized jobs in the private sector for 
at-risk youth. 

o $120,000 in Ch. 188 funds to support alternative "school 
within a school." 

o $94,000 in additional Ch. 188 and JTPA 8% from Futures office 

VI. RESOURCES NEEDED 

o Continued broad community support for existing initiatives. 
o $178,000 to expand appropriate activities and models. 



COMMONWEALTH FUTURES 



CITY OF LAWRENCE 



COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY- WIDE SERVICE PLAN 

- SUMMARY - 



I . BACKGROUND 

Lawrence, a city with a population of 63,175 living within 6.7 square miles, 
has undergone drastic economic changes in the last 30 years. Although 
manufacturing continues to be the largest industrial sector, non-durable goods 
(textiles, leather) continue to decline while durable goods (particularly high 
tech electronics) show continued growth. 

Unlike many areas of the state, school enrollments are increasing. Nearly 
two-thirds of 9,800 students are minority, primarily Hispanic; 29% of the 
students are members of families that receive AFDC; 75% are eligible for free 
lunches. In addition, Lawrence has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the 
state (61.2 per thousand). Statistics indicate that 15% of students formally 
withdraw from high school each year and approximately one-half of all 9th 
grade students fail to complete grade 12. 

II. VISION 

Lawrence envisions the creation of an institutional framework that will enable 
every youth to have the opportunity to complete a high school education. 
Elements of a five year coordinated service delivery plan include 1) early 
intervention, 2) strong linkages with social service providers, 3) replication 
of successful community involvement programs (i.e. Cities in Schools) and A) 
establishment of an off-site alternative school which will provide a 
transitional freshman year and a re-entry program for dropouts. 

III. TARGET POPULATION(S) 

Two primary groups have been identified as most in need of services: 1) 
students in grade nine who are non-English speaking newcomers to the system 
and 2) youth aged 16-19 who have already dropped out of school. 

IV. GOALS 

A. Community 

1) Develop a five year dropout prevention plan. 

2) Implement an "early identification" system in grades K-8. 



3) Implement a comprehensive program of early Intervention 
activities at the elementary level to decrease the risk of 
dropping out by 20%. 

4) Provide diagnostic testing and evaluation of all newcomers to 
the school system to ensure appropriate placement. 

B. Youth 

1) Provide alternative education services for 850 9th graders (200 
per year) and decrease the dropout rate between the ninth and 
10th grade by 20% over five years. 

2) Provide alternative education services to 450 dropouts (100 per 
year) aged 16-19. 

V. RESOURCES COMMITTED /ANTICIPATED 

o Portion of core teaching faculty and alternative program 
facilities from the Lawrence Public Schools. 

o $70,000 in Chapter 188 funds to create a "Cities in Schools" 
program in one Junior High School. 

o JTPA IIA, IIB program funds. 

o Gateway Cities funds. 

o Private and corporate donations. 

VI. RESOURCES NEEDED 

o Funds for alternative staff and materials. 

o Renovation costs for an off-site facility. 

o Early intervention program costs. 

o $95,000 in JTPA 8% funds to fund college entry and career 
pathways programs. 



COMMONWEALTH FUTURES 



CITY OF PITTSFIELD 



COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY-WIDE SERVICE PLAN 

- SUMMARY - 



I . BACKGROUND 

Pittsfield is a city of 52,000 people in the western part of the state. 
Forty-two percent of the workforce is engaged in industrial construction, 
transportation or similar kinds of labor. In fact, one-third of the city's 
work force has been engaged by one of General Electric' s divisions which 
recently closed. Pittsfield 's August, 1986 unemployment rate was identical to 
the state's rate of 3.8% although youth employment is more than twice the rate 
of the general city population. Almost three out of ten adults (21 and over) 
in Pittsfield lack a high school diploma: ten percent of the adult population 
is marginally illiterate, reading at the sixth or seventh grade level. Over 
seven thousand, five hundred youth attend grades K-12 and the reported dropout 
rate is 5%. 

II. VISION 

Pittsfield will create the "Pittsfield PACT" a formal, working agreement 
between the school system, local government, the Private Industry Council and 
community organizations. PACT will combine current efforts with a new 
approach stressing early identification with intervention occurring at any age 
level from nine upward. Emphasizing basic skills at all levels, PACT will 
develop five alternative curriculum areas to supplement the basics for dropout 
prone students. 

III. TARGET POPULATION(S) 

At-risk youth aged 9-11 (elementary), 12-14 (middle) and 15+ (high school). 

IV. GOALS 

A. Community 

1) Establish and formalize the Pittsfield PACT. 

2) Decrease dropout rate by 50%. 

B. Youth 

1) Identify causes of dropping out. 

2) Increase number of students graduating. 

3) Increase self-motivation and self-worth. 



V. RESOURCES COMMITTED/ANTICIPATED 

Over 50 collaborators have agreed to provide services ranging from summer jobs 
to public relations. 

VI. RESOURCES NEEDED 

Funds to support: * 

o PACT director, 
o In-school intervention leaders. 
o Alternative program staff, curriculum development and materials.